A six-part spoof historical series is coming to Channel 4 with cast packed full of some top British talent, Year Of The Rabbit isn't one to miss. The cop comedy/period piece is fronted by Matt Berry who plays Detective Inspector Rabbit, Watership Down's Freddie Fox stars as his partner Wilbur Strauss and Chewing Gum's Susan Wokoma stars as Mabel Wisbech, the UK's first female police officer and the adopted daughter of the chief of police. The show is set in Victorian London but where is the Year of The Rabbit filmed?
Much of the show's action takes place in the notorious East End and while there might be some recognisable London hotspots in the comedy, according to the Kent Film Office a lot of shooting took place in Kent. They report the many of the outside scenes were filmed in the Historic Dockyard Chatham and continued "the location offers Georgian and Victorian buildings and authentic cobbled streets. The dockyard has previously featured in Summer of Rockets, Suffragette and Holmes and Watson." The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a maritime museum on the former naval dockyard in Kent. It was one of the main facilities for the Royal Navy for several hundred years until it closed in 1984. The town of Chatham is just outside London and, with its cobbled streets, it looks like we'll really be transported to Victorian London in Year Of The Rabbit.
With so many comedic actors joining forces for this series it sure to be pretty hilarious. In an interview with Deadline, Channel 4 head of comedy Fiona McDermott described the show as The Sweeney [a 1970s police drama] with "misguided machismo". Intriguing. She continued, "it’s an amazing vehicle for Matt’s talents and together with Susan and Freddie and the wealth of talent off-camera, we are thrilled to have it on the channel."
Joining Berry, Wokoma and Fox on the comedy will be from Bodyguard's Keeley Hawes who plays Lydia, Eastenders' Jill Halfpenny, and Sally Phillips as Princess Juliana of Bulgaria. According to Radio Times, Phillips described her character as "a haughty, 19th Century, pansexual, Bulgarian autocrat with access to guns." Adding: "I may have peaked."
Radio Times report that the show is written by Kevin Cecil and Andrew Riley, whose previous work includes Veep and Black Books. But to give the comedy a little of that Toast hilarity, Berry has also contributed to the writing process and he announced that he is "looking forward to stepping back in time to fight crime in the same significant year which bought us Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, The Elephant Man and of course Jack The Ripper."
The comedy is set in the 1880s and according to Radio Times the show is loosely based on Scotland Yard's murder squad who were set the task of finding the infamous Jack the Ripper. So if you're into police comedy mysteries stay tuned because this show could well be your new fave. Catch Year Of The Rabbit Mondays, 10 p.m. on Channel 4.